Complaints put kybosh on car wash initiative

By Sonia Isaacs

A SUCCESSFUL side-hustle washing and detailing cars out of the back of the Maleny IGA has come to a crushing end for young entrepreneur Clayton Greening.

Recently a complaint was made to the Sunshine Coast Council with concerns that products could be impacting surrounding wildlife and waterways, and Clayton was advised he would have to move his business on.

Since relocating to another premises, Clayton has been dismayed to discover a further complaint had been lodged despite appropriate environmental measures in place.
For the last four years Clayton had steadily built up a loyal local following for his ‘pop up’ weekend car detailing enterprise from the Maleny IGA carpark.

Having previously worked for nearly a decade at the IGA, Clayton was well known to the previous business owner who encouraged the venture.

But earlier this month Clayton was advised by current IGA management that a complaint had been lodged with Council about the surrounding environmental impact of chemicals used in the water from the car wash.
Maleny IGA store manager Margarette Moloney confirmed council had been in contact with the store acting on a complaint around water runoff.

“Apparently a complaint had been made, and we were advised that we didn’t have the adequate facilities to contain water from going into the storm water drains,” said Ms. Moloney.
Clayton said he had always checked and ensured early on that the products he used were to the best of his knowledge eco-friendly and safe to use such as Turtle wax wash that was biodegradable and phosphate free. He said he was disappointed that the complaint was not made directly to him.
“I just wished who ever made the complaint had come to me first and spoken to me to find a solution before going straight to council,” Clayton said.
Clayton was heartened to receive hundreds of comments of community support from people who backed his initiative. Learning of the situation, Juan Perez from Maleny Accident and Repair Centre offered Clayton use of his business facility on the weekends which has the appropriate setup. However in recent days a new complaint has been lodged with Council.
Maleny Accident and Repair owner Juan Perez said he was very surprised to receive a phone call from Council, especially as his business has all the appropriate equipment and environmental protections in place to wash vehicles safely and responsibly.
“Our runoff is contained within a large separator system. We have the capacity to wash large vehicles and trucks with no runoff at all going into the Obi Obi river. Clayton only ever washes a handful of cars at a time and the runoff is all contained – there is really there is nothing to fear,”
Clayton said he was really happy he had found a new location however he suspected it was only a matter of time before someone complained.
“ I’m trying to do the right thing and I’d really like to continue doing what I do. I’m booked out a month in advance and lots of people here in Maleny seem to really appreciate what I do, so I’d like to keep going,” said Clayton.